Binary numerals were central to Leibniz’s theology. He believed that binary numbers were symbolic of the Christian idea of creatio ex nihilo or creation out of nothing. Leibniz was trying to find a system that converts logic’s verbal statements into a pure mathematical one. After his ideas were ignored, he came across a classic Chinese text called I Ching or ‘Book of Changes’, which used a type of binary code.
The book had confirmed his theory that life could be simplified or reduced down to a series of straightforward propositions. He created a system consisting of rows of zeros and ones. During this time period, Leibniz had not yet found a use for this system.