Re: Richard time jumping?
Richard died on the Black Rock and was resurrected when his body washed up on the island. He is actually "Dead".
Locke was murdered by Ben. He was resurrected by the island when flight 316 crashed. He is now truly an "Other".
Christian suffered the same fate.
That is why Richard doesn't seem to age. Neither will Locke.
These three seem to be the most influential on the island. Ben, Whidmore are caretakers looking in from the outside. The island never gave them full reign.
My thoughts go back to when Ben took Locke to Jacob's cabin. I believe by that time power was slipping from Ben and he was actually talking to an empty chair, conning Locke. When Locke heard Jacob speak Ben realised his time was up. Subsequently he became jealous and shot Locke.