In the '50's, a college professor taught his classes that glas was a liquid, and flows, which explains why old window panes have "runs" in the glass. This "factoid" spread quickly - my physics teacher taught us the same thing in 1960. To this day, millions of people will swear that glass is liquid, and flows very slowly. The problem is, that "factoid" is not factual. The truth is, glass is a solid. If you doubt this, check with Snopes or other reliable research group.
All those folks who still believe glass is a liquid - are they stupid? No, they are simply mistaken because they were misled by an "authority" on the subject. Happens all the time, ever since science taught everyone the Earth was flat.
Now travel to the '70's when another professor taught his human physiology classes that a women could shut down her reproductive system to prevent pregnancy. Yes, that did occur. And his students spread that fallacy, and millions came to believe it. Maybe the same folks who believed glass was liquid.
The point is, an "authortative" source taught something that was not true, but was believed. To this day, many people still believe it.
Todd Akin is one of those. He spoke what he was taught by an authoritative source. His mistake lay in the fact that he did not keep up on the latest research. Perhaps he owes an apology for not keeping up on such things, but it does not make him stupid, nor ignorant. Just mistaken because he was misled.
To add perspective, until the 1790's doctors believed - were taught - that a woman's reproductive system "traveled" around her body. This journey took 28 days, culminating in having her period. That was how "modern medicine" explained menstruation.
We can all fall victim to "authorities" who spread misinformation. It does not make us stupid.
But none of this changes the simple fact that if Akin loses and the Republicans do not get a majority in the Senate, he will forver be a pariah among his own party - shunned, ostracized and without a friend in the world.