before responding, I warn and beg your indulgence that I am considering this from the position of theology/science, as I consider the two to be inseparable. I believe theology can be reasoned and that the answer, "You just gotta believe" is a loser's copout, whether he is discussing theology or science.
There's been a few threads discussing the nature of Time and Space, and having thought about the matter, something occurred to me:
We all know the old analogies of explaining n-space, where you start off with a single dimension in which only a line can exist, and then one dimension up, in which 2D objects like squares and triangles can exist, and then up one dimension to the 3D universe around us, which we can perceive as objects with height, width and depth. And then we normally add in Time as the fourth dimension, so that our calculations work out, ala Minkowski.
But then it struck me that even in a one-dimensional universe, time would be required for two lines to interact. However you want to experience an n-dimensional world, time is required. Information about anything and everything cannot breach the speed of light, in other words, it takes time. So a one-dimensional universe cannot be perceived by a one-dimensional observer in the absence of time.
So, following from that, it seems that if we consider Minkowski's space-time, a "four-dimensional universe", with the regular x,y and z axes, with time combined, then it should make sense to consider time as the very first dimension, and not the fourth. The common view on the subject is that time is added as the fourth dimension, kinda like an afterthough.
But if Time is indeed the first dimension, being fundamental, it seems as if Time has to exist before any of the other dimensions can unfold. And that the other dimensions (or their existence) is impossible in the absence of Time...
I suppose a lot of interesting conclusions can be drawn from this. For instance, if Time is indeed fundamental, it would imply that Time alone can merrily exist in the absence of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th dimensions - but that none of those dimensions are possible in the absence of time...
I have thought about this for several years, but thought I was the only one, so I stayed quiet about it until I could convert my thoughts to text. Then, I googled it and found your post.
As I understand dimensions, each one represents a subset of the previous dimension.
That is, in a 'y' linear dimension, one point on the line encompasses all of the 'x' coordinates of the same linear...that is, 'y'=1, (whatever a value at 'y'=1 represents) covers all 'x' coordinates from -infinity to infinity. All coordinates at x=1, y=1, would represent all 'z' coordinates, whatever dimension 'z' represents.
Now, Dimension 0 would represent everything in all subset dimensions. I would see this as the primary dimension that God exists. That is, being Omni-present, no physical dimensions can encompass Him. Except, for a time, He took the form of man (Jesus), compelling Himself to be subject to the physical and time dimensions. His eternal presence means, in dimension 0, He is unaffected by time., which means, time is a subset.
The demonstration of time being the first dimension is that there would need to be a creation that is all encompassing. Being created, it has a point in time that it was not, and a point at which it existed. In Christian theology, that creation is the plan of Salvation, which was created before the universe was created.
So we have something that encompasses all dimensions except time, so it proves that time is the first dimension.
Again, I apologize if my words were an offense to anyone. I tried to put it as inoffensively as possible. My failure is that it is difficult to put some of my thoughts into acceptable words.